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Subject: Between Two Cities: a 2 Player, He Said, She Said Review rss

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Linda Chov
China
BEIJING
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Between Two Cities: A 2 Player, He Said, She Said Review [He likes: Terra Mystica, Agricola, Through the Ages, Machi Koro, Castles of Burgundy, Splendor, Twilight Struggle, Netrunner. She likes the same, and also Viticulture, but less Twilight Struggle. They play most of their games together.]

Theme: City ‘building’
Price: $30 (in China)
Set-up time: 30 sec
Tear down: 1 min
Plays to date: 7

Preamble:
We played this game at Beijing Khan Kon. We all learned the rules in 5 mins. We played one game with 4 players in 15 minutes, while others watched. We finished. We immediately wanted to play again, and the watchers wanted to join. We played a 6 player game in 15-20 mins. We immediately wanted to play again. We played again. One player got up to go buy it. We played again. 2 other said they would buy it when they had the cash. We got up to buy it. We went home.

A resounding success at Beijing’s only board game convention. As a multiplayer, it ticks every box it tries to:

It’s interactive; it has decisions to make but it isn’t a brain burner; its competitive, but also cooperative; it’s fun; it’s quick; it’s well produced.

The question is, how does it play two player? And the answer, after 3 two player plays is: pretty well.

This is a tile laying game, where you draft the tiles you are going to place into your city. Different tiles score different points in different ways. For some the placement matters for their points, for others not. However, your cities are only 4x4 tiles large, meaning there are very few rounds to be played. The thing that makes the multiplayer game so wonderful is, as the title suggests, it is YOU who are between two cities, and you are building both of them with the help of an opponent. Both cities score points at the end of the game, but only your lower score counts. That means you need to make your cities awesome, but maybe not too awesome else it might be your opponent who wins. You therefore try to keep your eyes on what other people are building, and make your decisions accordingly.

The two player game, however, loses this interaction. You build two cities, but both by yourself. Your sores for the cities are combined at the end of the game. It isn’t as ‘fun’ with two, there can be no question of that, but it is still very playable and that feeling of wanting ‘just one more quick play’ is still with you. It is much more combative than the multiplayer version, and He lost a game yesterday when She cleverly chose to give him poor tiles several times throughout the game. Neither of us would go so far as to call it cutthroat though. You still get to build your cities, and they will be standing at game end. There’s no destruction here.

As the preamble says, we bought this immediately after playing. I hope it gets a wide audience, as it really deserves it. We definitely feel that it deserves a place in any collection, and is perfect for game days for 6 or 7 people.

Conclusion:

He Said: Love at first sight. Well produced, and can be taught in 5 mins and played in 15. The interaction with others is lost in the 2p version dropping the 2p star rating, however we will still play this often. Thumbs up! 4 stars
She Said: It's quick and fun, but a different experience with 2. A good game, but prefer with more players.
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Rob Crosby
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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What did you expect to see here?
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Nope, nothing much here either, but thanks for looking :)
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Interesting way of thinking about a review Linda - nicely done and thanks for sharing.
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Dave S.
United States
Des Moines
Iowa
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Thanks for the review. I've only had a chance to play once since I received my copy, and I'm looking forward to playing the 2p version with my wife soon. Your review gives me some confidence that we'll enjoy it.
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John Reynolds
United States
Scottsdale
Arizona
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Nice review! Do you think a co-op variant would work - where you are building your cities together, trying to help eachother, and simply try to beat a certain score? (Like Hanabi)

Edit:

Looks like there is a 2-player variant posted by the designer here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1335527/2-player-variant-us...

Have you guys given that a try? And if not, would you be willing to?
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Linda Chov
China
BEIJING
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We haven't tried any varients for this yet. Most of our plays have been multi-player, as it turns out. It's seen quite a bit of game time since we got it.
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